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Nursing home abuse occurs more frequently than we would like to believe. When we put a loved one in a nursing home, we are entrusting that home with the care and health of its dependent patients. With over 1.3 million nursing home residents (CDC, 2015), over 33% will be placed in a facility that is already experiencing reports of abuse (Department of Health and Human Services, 2014). While many of the patients are elderly, this is not always the case. Physical abuse in nursing homes can include assault, such as slapping, hitting, or pushing a patient, inappropriate restraints, burning, or medication errors. These abuses often result in unexplained bruising, gangrene, broken bones, dehydration, malnutrition, and/or bedsores. Emotional abuse includes mental abuse, verbal abuse, humiliation, harassment, or intimidation by nursing home staff. Many victims of emotional abuse may suddenly become withdrawn or easily agitated, or the victim may become aggressive. Other abuses include sexual abuses, such as sexual assault and rape, abandonment, and theft. If not outright abusing its patients, a nursing home may still be neglecting its patients; common symptoms of neglect include unsanitary living conditions, lack of medical personnel for medical needs, dehydration, bed sores, and malnutrition. In some cases, these abuses result in the death of the patient.
It is not always easy to detect instances of elder abuse, both because they are often hidden by the home and because the victim may not have the ability to communicate the situation or may not be willing to. Further aggravating the situation are poorly trained staff, unqualified or inadequate caregivers, and possible histories of abuse at the facility and by staff members. Let’s go over some important nursing home abuse-related statistics:
The litigation process for nursing home abuse can be complex and heartbreaking. With abuse ranging from physical, to emotional, to sexual, to financial, each party on this list has the potential to engage in abuse or neglect to the detriment of the victims. With parties at fault ranging from families of the victims to nursing home staff and even to other residents, the circumstances surrounding each case of elder abuse are unique and deserve attention. In some cases, there may even be multiple parties involved. Parties responsible for nursing home and elder abuse may include:
Depending on the nature of your or your family member’s damages due to nursing home abuse,your lawyer may identify possible claims for:
If your loved one is the victim of abuse at a nursing home or if your loved one is killed due to nursing home abuse or neglect and you need to file a wrongful death claim, you need a personal injury attorney that understands the emotional and physical toll that this abuse took on the victim. An experienced attorney will be aggressive in seeking the compensation that your loved one deserves.
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